This month's news comes to you from Las Vegas, NV as the WPA prepares for the biggest poker event of the year - the World Series of Poker. We will be looking to make a huge splash at this year's event promoting the membership opportunities and the goals of the WPA for individuals and organizations alike. The WPA will be featured in booth #510 at the Lifestyle show and will have a custom made booth outside the tournament room for the duration of the event. Bring or send your friends to the booth to sign up. For the first 1000 voting members who join during the WSOP they will receive a WPA black & gold card protector.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome our first organizational member to the WPA, the Swedish Poker Federation. The addition of the umbrella organization representing the rights and interests of 4,000 Swedish poker players is a true testament to the demand for a united international tournament poker community and the sustained success of the sport. Ken Lennaárd, Chairman of the Swedish Poker Federation, has also been named a founding member of the WPA, and chair of the International Committee.
The World Poker Association's presence and reputation continues to grow. Several influential contributors in the industry have recently approached me interested in learning about the WPA, many of whom are eager to share their resources. Brian Balsbaugh, a player's agent, included information about the WPA in his May monthly newsletter he sends out to his clients. We are currently working on a promotional activity with several media outlets to encourage new membership. A WPA banner has been sent to some members for placement on their websites – Kenna James, the Hendon Mob and Blair Rodman have agreed to post it. The banner has a link directly to the sign up page. Several bloggers are being contacted as well who support the WPA. If you are willing to post the banner, can refer someone, or know a blogger please contact Renick Morris at email@example.com. He has volunteered to facilitate this project.
The WPA is also moving forward with a new membership structure in hopes of enticing the more casual poker players to support the WPA. After much discussion internally, we decided to offer a $10 non-voting membership opportunity for individuals. The benefits include: participation in WPA events, access to view the WPA discussion forums, and future benefits such as discounts and health insurance. Voting membership is available for $50, and Founding Membership for $1000 (until December 31, 2006). New Founding Members include Ralph Burd, Harry Demetriou, Ken Lennaard, Sean McCabe and Chris Bigler.
In addition to the website and blogs, prospective members can also learn about the WPA and contribute to the buzz through the World Poker Association group on MySpace.com. There is no fee to join and it is yet another resource where poker players and organizations can congregate to discuss the pertinent issues affecting tournament poker in an open forum. You can visit the WPA group at groups.myspace.com/wpapoker.
We are still looking for volunteers at the World Series to staff the WPA booth at the Lifestyle expo as well as the booth that will be set up outside the tournament room throughout the WSOP. Two-hour time slots are available throughout each day, and can be chosen at your discretion. Contact me with the dates and times. Your help is most appreciated.